Summer at Cornish

The Rock Project: Becoming a Better Musician



July 20 –July 25, M, T, W, Th, F, S, 9:00am – 4:00pm


Kerry Hall 114, 710 East Roy St, Seattle, WA


The price of this course is $450.00

Registration for this course has been closed

If you have any questions, please contact us.


Course Description

Students will work in large and small bands, and will have the opportunity to go beyond the basics and learn how to write and play rock and electronic music while incorporating elements of blues and jazz into their music.

Students will develop their creativity and thoughtfulness by analyzing songs together, while solving challenges along the way. The Rock Project instructors will help students learn real world skills and encourage creative, cooperative exploration through jam sessions, discussions, lessons, and ensemble projects.The workshop culminates with a Saturday concert featuring performances by participants for supportive family and friends.

Who should enroll?

Middle and high school students, ages 12-17, who have played guitar, bass, drums and/or keyboards for six months or longer. 

Daily Schedule

Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm with a break for lunch, and a concluding performance scheduled for Saturday, July 25 at 3:00pm in PONCHO Concert Hall on the Cornish campus.

Audition Requirements

None. Open for enrollment to students ages 12-17 without any audition.

Requirements & Availability

  • Ages
    12 - 17
  • Housing
  • Scholarships


Susan Palmer

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Susan Palmer is the author of The Guitar Lesson Companion and currently teaches guitar at Seattle University. She has led jazz, blues and rock groups throughout her career, and has spent the past ten years teaching adults and kids how to play the guitar. Many of her students are now actively performing throughout the Pacific Northwest.

In 2006, Palmer published her unique guitar instruction method in The Guitar Lesson Companion and in accompanying online video lessons. Subsequently, teachers and students in over ten different countries, including at the Berklee School of Music, have adopted her book. Palmer is currently completing volume two in her guitar method series. Palmer studied with Dan Balmer, Paul Chasman, John Stowell, Dan Heck and Brian Nova. She studied music at Gonzaga University, and graduated with honors from Seattle University.

Matt Hitchman

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Matt Hitchman is in his fifth year teaching guitar and music theory. As a current resident of New York City, Matt is earning his Masters at Hunter College. He grew up playing in bands in the Olympia music scene and continues to perform in Brooklyn, NY. He has a passion for punk and hardcore music and enjoys synthesizing them with concepts typically found in jazz and classical music. As a member of the Seattle jazz guitar group, Autumn Left, he has played a wide array of events in the Seattle area.

In 2010, he received his B.A. at Seattle University, where he studied Music Theory, Ear Training, Guitar, and Music History within Seattle University’s Bachelor’s of Music program. He became the guitarist in the Seattle University Jazz Band directed by Clarence Acox. Matt has been working as a teacher for three years and enjoys his work with students, helping them learn difficult concepts in creative and engaging ways. This will be his fourth year as a co-teacher of The Rock Project.